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Introduction to Drytooling 


Intro to Dry Tooling

£50 Per Day

Course Outline

The Perfect way to get in to this incredible sport.



What is Dry Tooling?

Literally, using ice tools (axes) and crampons to climb ‘dry’ rock as opposed to ice or snow.

Dry-tooling initially gained popularity as a way of training for ice climbing, but has evolved into a sport in its own right. Today, dry-tooling generally features bolted protection and usually involves no ice at all (particularly in the UK), so in many ways it is more akin to sport climbing than ice climbing. Unlike ice climbing, dry-tooling also has the advantage that it can be done all year round, often whatever the weather.

Dry-tooling trains precision and balance on delicate placements and footholds, as well as giving a good arm workout, and may necessitate flexibility on more gymnastic moves. Easy access, reliable protection and a lack of objective hazards frees climbers to enjoy the challenge of pure technical difficulty, like in sport climbing.


In this one day course we will introduce you, safely, to this incredible (and incredibly niche) sport.

Who is this course for?

This course is aimed at those with little to no dry tooling experience.  This includes those with some winter experience, but who have only limited experience on winter mixed routes.  

The day will be appropriate for those wishing to learn the very basics, or who wish to gain more knowledge and coaching to push their grade.

What we will focus on

  • How to climb safely, understanding the unique risks that Tooling can pose.

  • Understanding the gear.

  • Understanding the grading.

  • Basic Principles of Tooling - How to 'read' a route, How to 'read' a hook

  • Exploring different climbing methods, including methods such as fig 4, fig 9.

  • How to rest and relax on your axes.

Structure of the day

We will begin the day at the crag at 0930 and will finish around 1700.  Be aware that Dry Tooling is extremely physical and this will be a long day.

We will begin by exploring the dry tooling equipment, such as different axes, boots, shoes etc before quickly moving on to the actual climbing.  The Aim for the day will be to spend as much time climbing, and learning while doing so, as possible.  

What skills must I already possess

All those entering this course must already be proficient as a top rope belayer.  Climbing will be the primary focus and therefore you have the necessary skills to belay safely.  

What do I need?

  • Helmet

  • Harness

  • Crampons (mono point) and Boots/ Fruit boots or similar (get in touch if you do not have these)

  • Belay plate

  • Rope 

  • Ice Tools (These must have a hand rest)

  • Lunch/ drinks for the day

  • Appropriate clothing (these will likely get dirty)

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